CapMan Buys Solera

CapMan, via its CapMan Buyout IX fund, has acquired a majority stake in Oslo-based alcoholic beverage importer Solera AS, the company announced Thursday. Following the close of the acquisition, CapMan will own 76% of the company, with the remainder held by co-investors and the management. The deal is expected to close in August.

CapMan Buyout IX, a fund managed by CapMan, has agreed to acquire a majority holding in Solera AS. Headquartered in Oslo, Solera is one of the leading alcoholic beverage importers and distributors in the Nordic region. Following the acquisition CapMan Buyout IX will own approx. 76% of ordinary shares of the company, while the remaining 24% of ordinary shares will be held by co investors and the management. CapMan will support Solera in increasing its market positions especially in Sweden and Finland.

Solera acts as an importer and distributor of primarily wine to the three Nordic alcoholic retail monopolies. In addition, the company is active in import and distribution of beer, cider, mineral water and soft drinks through its subsidiary Multibev AS. Solera has grown 20% annually over the past four years and is one of the leading wine importers and distributors in the Nordic region. Today, Solera has a net turnover of approx. €130 million and employs 110 people in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The Nordic wine market is expected to develop favourably during the following years and Solera is well positioned to capitalise on this growth.

“Solera is the market leader in wine in Norway with good prospects to enhance its position in the Swedish and Finnish markets. Besides increasing its market positions, our target is to further develop the company’s product range and to strengthen Solera’s organisation. Our vision together with the management is to build Solera into a leading Nordic beverage distributor with superior brands”, says Mats Gullbrandsson, CapMan’s partner in charge of the investment.

“CapMan is a perfect partner for Solera’s management team. We share a common view with regards to the future strategic development of the company, which is also in line with Solera’s producer partners’ goals. We are looking forward to working with CapMan, as well as with the co investors Johan Kullander, Peter Candell and Johan Bjarke. I am confident that our team is well positioned to lead Solera to fulfill its potential”, says Stefan H. Norberg, CEO of Solera AS.

CapMan Plc is a major investor in CapMan Buyout IX. The transaction is subject to approval from the competition authorities and is expected to close in August 2011.